Melissa Yotter

Oregon Supreme Court (1 summary)

Wilson/Fitz v. Rosenblum

A ballot title caption will satisfy ORS 250.035(2)(a) so long as it describes the “actual major effect[s]” of the proposed law within the 15-word limit. Lavey v. Kroger, 350 Or 559, 563 (2011).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Ballot Titles

Oregon Court of Appeals (21 summaries)

State v. Stavenjord

A variance in a charging document and submitted trial evidence is permissible when the variance is not a material element of the case and the variance will not prejudice the defendant’s trial. State v. Samuel, 289 Or App 618, 626-27 (2017).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

State v. Steele

Under the Oregon Constitution Article I, section 9, the inevitable discovery doctrine requires the state to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the evidence acquired in an unlawful search would have been discovered under proper police investigatory procedures. State v. Miller, 300 Or 203, 225 (1985). An inventory policy that requires law enforcement to open closed containers is overbroad. State v. Williams, 227 Or App 453, 457 (2009).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

State v. Beeman

A law prohibiting the actual possession of a firearm is legally valid under intermediate scrutiny so long as the law is “substantially related to an important governmental objective.” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

State v. Salsman

A trial court needs to conduct an OEC 403 evidence balancing test that fulfils the requirements of State v. Mayfield, 302 Or 631 (1987).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

PIH Beaverton LLC v. Red Shield Insurance Co.

If there is doubt as to whether “allegations of a complaint against the insured state a cause of action that is defined within the coverage of a liability policy sufficient to compel the insurer to defend the action,” the court will resolve the doubt in the insured’s favor. West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, 360 Or 650, 653 (2016); Blohm et al v. Glens Falls Ins. Co., 231 Or 410, 415-16 (1962).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

State v. Robertson

Under ORS 163.575(1)(b), endangering a minor’s welfare exists when a minor enters or remains in a place where a “principal or substantial use of the place involves unlawful drug activity.” State v. Gonzalez-Valenzuela, 358 OR 451, 473 (2015).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Morgan v. Valley Property and Casualty Ins. Co.

Under OEC 803(6), a business record is a document that is routinely prepared in the course of a business’s activities and preparer owes a legal duty to report accurately. State v. Cain, 260 Or App 626, 633-34 (2014).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

Kroetch v. Employment Dept.

Under ORS 657.471, a request for an appeal for relief to an employer for unemployment charges can only be made after the eligibility decision has been made. Johnson v. Employment Div., 124 Or App 77, 81 (1993).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Employment Law

Holbrook v. Amsberry

Only acts or omissions by an attorney that have a “tendency to affect the result of the prosecution” entitle a person to post-conviction relief for ineffective assistance of counsel. Stevens v. State of Oregon, 322 Or 101, 110 (1995). A post-conviction court must consider evidence that would have been proffered had the attorney performed adequately. Lichau v. Baldwin, 333 Or 350, 363 (2002).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Post-Conviction Relief

State v. Woodbury

Per OEC 702, a witness can provide testimony “relative to a particular topic” as an expert if that person has the “knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education” to provide that opinion testimony. State v. Rogers, 330 Or 282 (2000); State v. Althof, 273 Or App 342 (2015).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

State v. Bladorn

Under the Oregon Constitution Article I, section 9, an officer has authority to search for additional weapons incident to an arrest. State v. Anfield, 313 Or 554 (1992).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

State v. Perrott

In cases involving alleged DUI offenses, Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution does not relieve the state’s burden of proof for an exigency exception to the warrant requirement, when the only evidentiary support is an officer’s concern about the risk of dissipation in a defendant's blood-alcohol level prior to the officer obtaining a warrant.  State v. Ritz, 361 Or 781, 798 (2017). 

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Walker v. Providence Health System Oregon

Under ORS 656.262(11)(a), "[if an] insurer or self-insured employer…unreasonably delays acceptance or denial of a claim [for worker's compensation]…the insurer or self-insured employer shall be liable for an additional amount up to 25 percent of the amounts then due plus any attorney fees assessed under this section."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Sherertz v. Brownstein Rask

When considering the provision of a particular jury instruction, "[e]verything which is reasonably capable of confusing or misleading the jury should be avoided." Williams et al. v. Portland Gen. Elec., 195 Or 597, 610 (1952). A jury instruction will not be reversed if there is “little likelihood” that the jury was affected by the error; but if there is “some” or “significant” likelihood, then the jury instruction must be reversed. Purdy v. Deere and Company, 355 Or 204, 226 (2014).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Cunio v. Board of Parole

Under ORS 144.120(1)(a), the Board of Parole must conduct parole eligibility hearings for juvenile aggravated murderers, which entail reviewing “mitigating evidence submitted by an inmate during a prison term hearing even if that evidence is unrelated to the circumstances surrounding the criminal offenses." Calderon-Pacheco v. Board of Parole, 309 Or 454, 458-59 (1990).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Juvenile Law

State v. Wolf

A defendant may "raise the defense of self-defense" by either (1) providing the state with a pre-trial, written notice; or (2) by the provision of "affirmative evidence by a defense witness in the defendant’s case in chief.” Once the defense of self-defense has been properly raised, the state is burdened with disproving the application of the defense beyond a reasonable doubt. ORS 161.055(3); State v. Boyce, 120 Or App 299, 305-306 (1993).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

State v. Schrepfer

Article I, section 12 of the Oregon Constitution provides two avenues for law enforcement's response to a suspect's invocation of their right against compelled self-incrimination: if the invocation is unequivocal, the questioning must stop immediately, State v. Boyd, 360 Or 302, 318 (2016); if equivocal, the officer must stop the interrogation to clarify whether the suspect intended to invoke this right. State v. Charboneau, 323 Or 38, 54 (1996).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Alne v. Nooth

Pursuant to Article I, section 11 of the Oregon Constitution, in order to be granted post-conviction relief on the basis of inadequate counsel, "a petitioner must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that his trial counsel did not exercise reasonable professional skill and judgment and that petitioner suffered prejudice as a result of counsel’s inadequate performance." Trujillo v. Maass, 312 Or 431, 435, 822 P2d 703 (1991).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Post-Conviction Relief

State v. Robinson

Under ORS 161.309(3), a defendant may file notice to present an insanity defense “at any time” before trial, if just cause for not filing it at the time of plea is provided.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

State v. Snyder

“A person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime when the person intentionally engages in conduct which constitutes a substantial step toward commission of the crime.” ORS 161.405(1).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

State v. Chambers

Under ORS 813.260(2), a probation officer shall monitor a person’s progress under a diversion agreement and shall report her successful completion of or failure to comply with the treatment program to the court.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure